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Everything posted by PJW

  1. I've also always wondered about how exams and examiners are standardised. Do any exam boards offer the option of having exams filmed so that grading can be checked if there is an appeal?? If one of my a level students gets a grade that we are not happy with them we can see their paper and ask for another examiner to remark it. Ballet exams seem like a completely closed box. What's the point of seeing the examiners comments if you can't compare them with what the student actually did in the exam?? If the marks seem completely out of whack then the comments will do too and there's no way of checking.
  2. PJW

    Track suits

    Do you mean for branding with a logo as a school supplier? Rock the dragon do most of the uniform for our school and have been really good.
  3. Just a note in defence of group numbers. From a teacher's point of view they may possibly be preferable to doing solos etc depending on how many children you are thinking of involving. If you have, say, 15 students that you think would benefit from competitions and you give them all solos then that is 15 pieces of music to find, 15 costumes to source and 15 numbers to choreograph, teach and clean. Whereas you could do 2 or 3 group numbers and every student is involved in 2 or 3 dances rather than just the one solo. Also, and this is especially the case with festivals, if you have lots of solos and want to support and watch your students competing then you may find your entire half term is taken up with it as each child is on a different day at different times. Whereas with a group you may just have to do one day, plus all the children and parents are there together so there is more of a social and supportive aspect to it too.
  4. Have to say that I feel some of the exam boards have put things out to the public that are at best confusing. Some boards this afternoon are sharing out of date guidance on their social media. If they're not sure then they should seek further guidance.
  5. It's always good idea to speak to your current teacher first before embarking on any additional training especially if it's going to be at another localish dance school. If nothing else teachers just like to know when students are keen to further their dancing. However, there can also be a variety of legitimate reasons why a teacher might caution against it so generally best to speak to them first.
  6. Neil brand did a documentary 'The sound of movie musicals' and there is a section in one of the episodes all about Gene Kelly.
  7. Quick clarification - it's December rather than September.
  8. I think it's video auditions judged by a panel.
  9. Hello mummytwo, Our school does istd ballet and in general students would do an exam each year although this is not always the case especially as they move higher up the grades. For a child in year 7 I would say that grade 3 is not drastically low but at that age there will be some who are at grade 5 or 6 but it depends on how old they were when they started etc. I'll drop you a pm as well.
  10. My partner loves having nice stationery to use for planning lessons/choreography etc so I think that's a great idea. There's a shop called Typo that does lots of that sort of thing. Also I agree just a simple card explaining how much you appreciate the support is always really nice!
  11. Thank you pictures this is incredibly useful. I've written a guide for students at our school about post 16/18 training which I thought was pretty detailed but this has taught me a couple if things I didn't know! One question...I had always assumed that where a college e.g. urdang offer both a degree and a diploma course that students would essentially get all the same lessons i.e. degree and diploma students in the same ballet, jazz classes etc. And that the only difference would be the degree students would have a bit more theory work to do. Having read what you've put though I'm thinking that this isn't always the case. So Bird deliver a degree on behalf of Greenwich which is completely funded by student loan of £9K which is great but a lot less than their diploma fees so presumably you get more contact hours on the diploma??? Whereas urdang ask for a top up contribution on top of their degree fees to make them the same as their diploma so presumably students on both courses get the same treatment???
  12. Trinity Laban CAT is worth looking at too.
  13. When looking at potential new schools I would say to consider a few different things; How many older students do they have? If a school is managing to keep large numbers of 16-18 year olds dancing then it tells you they are doing something right. Secondly I would say it's really important to see a performance/end of year show - it's important that you make your own judgement on the qualities of the new school rather than relying only on what the teacher has told or promised you.
  14. Well she turns 34 this year so perhaps things were different in 1992?? Just to continue this completely off-topic theme I would say it is pretty unsurprising for a child from a working class family in the North to assume the RBS is not for the likes of them. The entire plot of Billy Elliot is based on this perception isn't it? So in this day and age I would think it perfectly normal that those from less well off backgrounds have a belief that people like them are not the norm at RBS. Whether or not that perception is grounded in truth is another matter. I've no idea how many WL students would, for example, qualify for free school meals -a measure of deprivation for a school's intake- but I would hazard a guess it is a long way below the national average.
  15. Yes definitely do a Google search for YouTube to mp3 converter. There are loads of free sites and it should take seconds. If you try to play the song direct from YouTube in the audition there's always the risk of poor signal/buffering!
  16. My partner uses them to teach all the time so I'm guessing they should be fine to use at home to practise with. I'll check where she got them from.
  17. Ah yes I forgot about doing your grade plus the grade above so I guess that adds another hour per week! That usually happens from grade 6 up. I agree ParentTaxi that if you're looking specifically for a ballet career then you probably need to be in vocational school before 16. Our school has just had their first student get into vocational ballet school for y7. She was doing just 2 hours per week at the school plus JAs for the last year. I think that what is 'enough' can vary a lot depending on the child.
  18. Hi ballet bean Going back to your original question, I thought I'd give you an idea of hours spent in the studio at our dance school. Most students are dancing purely as a hobby and those who audition for collefes are usually auditioning for more general dance courses e.g bird, urdang... So a typical 14/15 year old who was taking their dance fairly seriously and considering auditioning at 16/18 would do something like this; 1 hour grade ballet class 1 hour additional ballet class 30 mins-1 hour pointe depending on experience 1.5 hours technique class including flexibility, conditioning, turns etc 1 hour jazz 1 hour tap 1 hour contemporary 1 hour musical theatre 1 hour competition team rehearsal In addition some students might do a weekend associate programme which adds another 3 or 4 hours per week. Certainly not claiming this is the 'right' amount to do but just wanted to give you an idea of what is happening in other schools!
  19. Do potentially excellent dancers sometimes not fulfil their potential? Yes, that unfortunately probably happens all the time for various reasons. However, I don't personally think that, all else being equal, an inability to send a child to expensive summer schools or holiday courses should be a reason. For me, it is far more important that they are getting good training in their 'ordinary' dance classes i.e. the school they go to for lessons week in, week out all year round. They will spend many more hours here than at any holiday courses. The difference between getting excellent training and getting average training will be significant across just one term, let alone when you multiply that across several years. I agree with previous replies about work ethic too. A student who is approaching each class in the right frame of mind and is practising regularly at home will always progress more quickly and no holiday course is going to make up that difference!
  20. It's worth noting the difference, as Annaliesey says, between festivals and the more US style comps. One we are attending later in the year is £25 per solo entry and around £10 per dancer per routine if part of a group. The experiences are quite different but just be prepared for the jump in price from one to the other!
  21. To be fair LCB and JA's are extremely competitive so I wouldn't worry too much that she hasn't been successful with those yet! I agree that the key is that you both feel that she is developing and being pushed by her current teacher and that she keeps pushing herself. But don't lose heart over "no"s from such sought-after schemes! It's all character building and will make her stronger in the long run!
  22. We found it a really enjoyable day. Both the grade 3s danced beautifully even though they didn't make it to the final. To be fair there was lots for us all to learn and next year students will definitely be warned about fidgeting and letting arms drop etc when they're not dancing as it was probably the main thing we noticed that might have cost them. Both the intermediates we had did really well too and one made the final but unfortunately fell ill backstage after and couldn't actually compete! But overall it was a really encouraging day and all the students had a great time. I hope the gala is fun for you tonight ParentTaxi.
  23. We're going to be there! It will be the first time any of our students has taken part in an event like this. They've been in competitions as part of a group but never to any awards or festivals before. Can I just ask, what counts as a 'very young' grade 5? We have a couple of 10 year olds in grade 3 which seems fairly young to me but perhaps I'm wrong. I know there's been plenty of discussion before about ages in this event! Don't want to stir that up just interested to know what to expect!
  24. There is an excellent article about starting pointe written by the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (sorry if someone else has already mentioned this). I really think it is well worth having a read, they have some excellent articles on a range of related topics too. I appreciate that teachers and parents will use their experience and best judgement to decide when a child should start but their experience is always going to be limited to just the children they have seen. Those children may not necessarily be a representative sample. Here is the link http://www.iadms.org/?185 I've copied their summarised suggestions here; To summarize the above discussion we offer the following guidelines for when to begin pointe training: Not before age 12. If the student is not anatomically sound (e.g., insufficient ankle and foot plantar flexion range of motion; poor lower extremity alignment), do not allow pointe work. If she is not truly pre-professional, discourage pointe training. If she has weak trunk and pelvic ("core") muscles or weak legs, delay pointe work (and consider implementing a strengthening program). If the student is hypermobile in the feet and ankles, delay pointe work (and consider implementing a strengthening program). If ballet classes are only once a week, discourage pointe training. If ballet classes are twice a week, and none of the above applies, begin in the fourth year of training.
  25. Starpower in London is well run. They record the judges voices while they watch each routine and then upload their commentaries after the competition so students and teachers can hear their comments as they were watching the routine. This year the comments were uploaded alongside a low res video of each routine so you can watch the routines back while listening to their praise/Corrections.
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